Risk Factors

Type 1 Diabetes

  • Caucasian ethnicity
  • Northern European ancestry

Equal numbers of men and women have Type 1 Diabetes. According to the World Health Organization’s Multinational Project for Childhood Diabetes, rates of Type 1 Diabetes are high in Finland and Sweden and low in African, Asian and American Indian populations.


Type 2 Diabetes

  • Age 45 years or older (most common over the age of 55)
  • Overweight/Obese defined as being greater than 20% above ideal body weight or having a BMI greater than or equal to 27. BMI is a ratio of your weight in kg divided by your height in meters squared. (BMI = kg/m2)
  • High blood pressure (140/90 mmHg or higher)
  • Abnormal blood lipids (HDL “good cholesterol” of 35 mg/dL or lower or triglycerides 250 mg/dl or higher)
  • African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander American, Hispanic American, Alaskan Native ethnicity
  • Sedentary lifestyle (physically active for less than 30 minutes three times a week)
  • Immediate family member with diabetes (parent, brother or sister)
  • Presence of pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance) or abnormal glucose tolerance with previous testing.
  • History of gestational diabetes or gave birth to at least one baby weighing 9 lbs or more